I got a lengthy D.C. Police Department document today which includes a bunch of charts and stats on its rank and file. If the figures are correct, the doc goes a long way toward clearing up one issue that has plagued this reporter (and, well, the police union): How many officers does the police department actually have?

It’s a simple question. I called the department’s public information office three times this week to get answer. The first response: “Approximately 4,000” cops. Approximately just doesn’t cut it. Two more calls to 202-727-4383 and still nothing.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier told me at the Levy press conference that the department has seen an increase in officers and resources. This was news to me. She said this was the reason for a new change in their approach to mentally-ill residents. So I wanted real numbers.

This document has the real numbers. Or at least seems to.

As of 10/1/08, the D.C. Police Department had 4,051 members. Two months later, it had 4,022. And finally, as of February 15, it had 4,036. The document states: “Applications, however, are up 22 percent this year and the Department continues to work toward an authorized strength of 4200.”

Question resolved. Here’s a few more stats:

How many lawsuits are pending against the department and/or its officers?

According to this department document: “There are 258 cases in which MPD or an MPD employee is named as a defendant.”

How many car accidents by D.C. cops?

According to this department document: “In 2007, MPD members were involved in 176 preventable accidents…. In 2008, members were involved in 161 preventable accidents.” The First District had the most preventable accidents in 2008 with 37 preventable crashes. The Seventh District was second with 24.

What was the total overtime cost for the Inauguration?

$8,632, 353

How many assaults on police officers were there in 2008?

According to the police document, residents were arrested for Assault on a Police Officer (APO) 921 times.

What was the attrition rate for sworn officers in 2008?

Answer: 3.8 percent. In FY07, it was 4.9 percent. In FY06, 5.9 percent.